Prefrontal Structural and Functional Brain Imaging Findings in Antisocial, Violent, and Psychopathic Individuals: A Meta-Analysis

Laboratory of NeuroImaging, Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095, United States.
Psychiatry Research (Impact Factor: 2.47). 11/2009; 174(2):81-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2009.03.012
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Brain-imaging studies suggest that antisocial and violent behavior is associated with structural and functional deficits in the prefrontal cortex, but there is heterogeneity in findings and it is unclear whether findings apply to psychopaths, non-violent offenders, community-based samples, and studies employing psychiatric controls. A meta-analysis was conducted on 43 structural and functional imaging studies, and the results show significantly reduced prefrontal structure and function in antisocial individuals. Effect sizes were significant for both structural and functional studies. With minor exceptions, no statistically significant moderating effects of sample characteristics and methodological variables were observed. Findings were localized to the right orbitofrontal cortex, right anterior cingulate cortex, and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Findings confirm the replicability of prefrontal structural and functional impairments in antisocial populations and highlight the involvement of orbitofrontal, dorsolateral frontal, and anterior cingulate cortex in antisocial behavior.

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    • "Depression and anxiety are closely linked to structural and functional abnormalities in a number of stress and mood related brain regions (Drevets, 1998; Davidson, 2003; Siegle et al., 2002; Abercrombie et al., 1998; Drevets, 1999; Eren et al., 2003). Alterations have been observed in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) (involved in immune response (Capuron et al., 2005; Craig, 2003; Goehler et al., 2000; Gaykema and Goehler, 2011), affective regulation and reward anticipation (Jackson et al., 2006; Decety and Jackson, 2004)) and the prefrontal cortex (PFC) (which anatomically connects to the ACC and is involved in social behaviour, and personality traits (Miller et al., 2002; Yang and Raine, 2009)). "
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    • "Genetically linked variability in neurotransmitters and neurohormones, coupled with a differential neurochemical and neurological stress response, and higher environmental risk profiles, accounts for greater levels of general aggressiveness among males (Niehoff, 2014). Metabolic factors such as reduced glucose metabolism that are associated with violence (Yang & Raine, 2009) may also be associated with neurotransmitter anomalies (Linnoila & Virkkunen, 1992). "
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    • "Empirical research has shown that both functional and structural impairments of the frontal lobes appear to bias social behavior in an antisocial direction (e.g. Aoki et al. 2014; Brower and Price 2001; Koenigs 2012; Lotze et al. 2007; Morgan and Lilienfeld 2000; Ogilvie et al. 2011; Raine 2002a; Wahlund and Kristiansson 2009; Yang and Raine 2009). A lack of selfinsight and noncompliance with societal rules, for instance , are both associated with impairments of the medial-polar prefrontal cortex, whereas impairments of the ventral-orbitofrontal cortex are associated with poor decision-making processes and disrupted emotional regulation . "
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